Australia fast-tracks 500,000 Pfizer doses

Australia will participate in a COVID-19 vaccine "dose swap" with Singapore which will see an additional 500,000 doses arrive in the country next month.

Announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the deal will see half a million Pfizer doses that were originally allotted to Singapore now diverted to Australia.

In response, Australia will provide Singapore with 500,000 doses in December.

LIVE UPDATES: The shock new coronavirus variant found in seven countries

A vial of the Pfizer vaccine is prepared for use.

"It's a dose swap deal which simply means we're taking the 500,000 they have now, so we can put that into our distribution this month coming in September and we will provide them with 500,000 in December," Mr Morrison said.

"That means there are 500,000 doses extra that will happen in September that otherwise would have had to wait for several months from now accelerating our vaccination program at this critical time as we walk towards those 70 per cent and 80 per cent targets."

The vaccines would be provided to all states and territories for distribution by primary care and state and territory vaccination sites on an equal population basis, following batch testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

"This deal gives us the further supplies we need as we bring new groups into the programme for Pfizer, including 12 to 15 year olds from September 13, and the 16 to 39 year old age group that has already commenced," the Prime Minister said.

"I said we would leave no stone unturned in bolstering our vaccination programme. This deal comes on top of the Polish agreement that has already boosted our national vaccination rates to exceed those achieved in the United States and United Kingdom at the peak of their programmes.

READ MORE: COVID-19 presents greater blood clot risk than vaccines, study finds

Mr Morrison said the additional doses will help improve vaccination rates across the 16 to 29 and 12 to 15-year-old age groups, who have been approved to receive the vaccine by safety advisory group ATAGI.

The 500,000 Pfizer doses will add to the 4.5 million doses already planned for September, Mr Morrison said.

The prime minister confirmed one million Moderna doses and "many other millions" of AstraZeneca doses would see Australia push on towards targets of 70 per cent and 80 per cent double jabbed.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said officials had spent "countless hours" negotiating the deal with Singapore.

"Australians have been magnificent, and I want to thank them and encourage them to continue to do so wherever they are in Australia," Mr Hunt said.

"Every dose matters, and every dose protects an individual as well as helping to protect everyone else."

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *